“RuPaul’s Drag Race” Recap Realness: America’s Previous Drag Superstar

The day starts with Bebe observing how empty the workroom is. Girl, it’s always empty before you show up! Oh, you meant that there are fewer contestants. Point taken. Things feel particularly spacious given that Rebecca is barely there, narrowing the playing field to a final two pretty much as soon as she sits down in her chair. Even her stated reason for why she should win is limp: it’s tough to feel much sympathy for “I came all the way from Florida” when Ru has spent half the season shouting “Camerooooooon!”

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Speaking of Ru, she’s too busy getting put into ladyface (which, judging by the perfection of her presentation, takes a team of ten) to announce the final challenge. In her place, she has deployed Michelle Visage’s seat warmer and the Ghost of Reality Competition Future. Their surprise at everyone’s male form is a good reminder of how much they don’t see from behind the judging table. Like, imagine watching only the final 20 minutes of each episode. Totally different show!

Mostly, though, it’s the same show it’s always been, as illustrated by the tale-as-old-as-time music video finale. At least “Cover Girl” is a legitimately awesome song. To prove their worth as a contender for superstardom, the three remaining queens will learn a dance, write and perform a rap, and then serve diva drama for Mike Ruiz’s camera. Each of them will also sit down to lunch with Mama Ru, without the burden of having to fake a laugh at the Tic Tac entrée like in later seasons.

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It’s clear from the get-go that Rebecca is going to struggle this week. When choreographer Ryan Heffington stomps into the room with Beyoncé’s moves, Vanessa Huxtable’s jeggings, and Buffalo Bill’s facial hair, he seals Miss Glasscock’s fate. She can’t step to these steps, try though she might. In a rare demonstration of self-awareness, she even admits her shortcomings, though she still naively assumes that her other positive qualities will carry her through. (Spoiler alert: she doesn’t have positive qualities.)

Despite ambitions to impress Cazwell with her speed rap, Rebecca’s double-tempo delivery means that she only fills half the required time. No one from this season is the next Missy Elliott (or even the next Tweet), but Bumbling Becky’s performance is the sloppiest because she has to write more lines in the time during which she’s supposed to be recording.

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Her downward plummet reaches terminal velocity during the video shoot. In the group number, she’s got a weaker grasp on the moves than one of Phi Phi O’Hara’s lashes has on her face. Though she’s the last to film her individual segment, she’s still late to set, eventually wandering in with a wig so askew that they have no choice but to send her away again while she tries desperately to put herself together properly. If she hadn’t burned so many bridges, maybe someone would have offered to help her. As it stands, Nina and Bebe simply revel in the extra time they have for shooting new footage that will likely never get used in the finished product.

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The next morning, we are surprised to hear that Bebe can’t process the name Jorge and completely not surprised to hear yet again that Rebecca isn’t here to make friends. Since it’s the end of the road, Ru won’t be bringing in any guest judges. It’s an even three-on-three match. They could play a sport of some kind! You’re going to have to fill in the details of that joke yourself, because I legitimately don’t know which sports can be played with teams of three and which can’t. I feel like basketball would work but probably not baseball?

Anyhow, Nina delivers another corseted Technicolor onesie with a sickening mohawk. It’s an incredible look, though Merle rightly points out that it’s basically a palette swap of a previous look. Like, that’s how player two looks when you and your friend both pick Nina Flowers in the RuPaul’s Drag Race fighting game that haunts my dreams. Bedecked in a sparkly gown, Bebe serves up her signature application of details that should be tacky but are somehow chic in her able hands. After all that fabulous, it’s almost a shame that Rebecca is even allowed to set foot on the runway; her boring pink dress, blond wig, and overall self are overpowered tenfold by the others.

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The panel immediately acknowledges during critiques and deliberation that Bex is flat-out not in the running for the crown. She’s back from the Interior Illusions Lounge for about 30 seconds before Ru commands her to slouch ungracefully down the runway one last time. Bye! Thanks for all the negativity and butch realness!

And then it’s the final lip sync! Nina and Bebe love each other (and say so), and their performance is so dynamic that I want them to tour the country as a sister act forever. Then again, if my dreams came true, I’d be too addicted to the Drag Race video game to ever leave the house and see their show. The greatness pouring from the stage makes Ru’s decision into Sophie’s Choice, but choose she does, with Bebe taking the crown for Cameroon. I have to say, the decision feels a little conventional, and if this same showdown had taken place in Season 3, I think it would have gone the other way.

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Regardless, what’s done is done. Nina lived to sashay another day (getting dragged to her doom a second time in All Stars), while Bebe became the Next Drag Superstar in the sense that she disappeared into obscurity, never to be heard from again. Seriously, though, does anyone know where Bebe is? Should we call her? Anyway, keep an ear out for Season 6 rumors, and I’ll be back when it premiers with more recap rudeness. I mean realness. No I don’t.

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